Aloe Vera, Aloe, Burn Plant, Sa’vila (Spanish), Ghrita-kumari (Sanskrit), Jadam (Malaysian), Lu-hui (Chinese), Erva babosa (Portuguese)
History, Facts, and Legends
Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, because he feared the Jews. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
The aloe genus contains over two hundred species that grow across the desert and subtropical regions of Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. The primary aloe vera varieties we know are a desert succulent native to Africa which is now grown all over the world. A member of the lily family, aloe vera is one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet. Each leaf of fresh aloe vera contains a mucilaginous gel, which is a potent source of long-chain sugars known as polysaccharides. The thick aloe vera leaves must be “filleted” to remove the gel.
Aloe vera is truly a superfood gift from the ancient Egyptians, who first discovered the magic of this food and bred aloe into most of the cultivars we see today. The rumored secret of Cleopatra’s famed beauty and youth continues to point to the obvious—the application of aloe vera to her skin.
The Essenes, a Jewish sect, inherited aloe from the Egyptians and continued to cultivate this impressive plant near the Dead Sea at Qumran. The Essenes ate raw and living foods, smelted metals, experimented with chemistry, and consumed aloe as their primary superfood, which they grew in soil rich with Dead Sea salt extracts. The Roman historian Josephus recorded that the Essenes often lived to be one hundred and twenty-five years of age during a time when the average life span was thirty-nine years.
The Greeks also inherited their knowledge of aloe vera from the Egyptians. Due to the influence of his mentor Aristotle, Alexander the Great was quite fond of aloe vera. His armies carried potted aloe vera with them on military campaigns. Aloe was applied to the wounds of his soldiers. Alexander conquered the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean in order to procure aloe (Socotra is currently part of the nation of Yemen).
The gel of raw aloe vera contains vitamins A, C, and E, the minerals sulfur, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and chromium, as well as antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, enzymes, sterols, lignins, and, most importantly, polysaccharides.
Aloe’s polysaccharides have a particular lubricating effect on the joints, brain, nervous system, and the skin. These polysaccharides are long-burning carbohydrates and provide steady energy over time.
Aloe vera polysaccharides have immuno-modulating effects. They allow the human immune system to fight back chronic viral, nanobacteria, and fungal infections.
Aloe vera is a crucial part of any weight loss and fitness program as it has been shown that when you ingest aloe, you can lose weight and also gain lean muscle mass.
If you want to be beautiful all the days of your life, if you want to be flexible and limber all the days of your life, if you want to have an immune system and nervous system that work well for all the days of your life, aloe vera is the superfood for you.
Creating Digestive Wellness with Aloe’s Antimicrobial Properties
Aloe vera is helpful for all types of digestive problems and can aid in recovery from digestive illnesses, such as colitis, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Research suggests that aloe vera polysaccharides are responsible for the calming effects on digestion. Additionally, aloe’s ability to support the replication of healthy epithelial cells that line our inner digestive environment is well known.
Aloe vera cuts and dissolves mucous in the intestines, which helps increase nutrient absorption.
Aloe’s mannose polysaccharide is effective at killing yeast (candida). In clinical human research, acemannan (mannose chains) from aloe improved food digestion and absorption and enhanced the presence of friendly bacteria (probiotics such as acidophilus) in the digestive tract by reducing yeast and normalizing pH levels. Aloe acts as a prebiotic—this means it potentiates the effectiveness of probiotics such as acidophilus, bifidus, L. salivarius, L. plantarum, etc.; it makes them work better.
The polysaccharides in aloe vera are converted by the human body into oligosaccharides, which protect the mucosal lining of the digestive tract and have been shown to be effective in fighting back the following organisms:
Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough pathogen)
E. coli strains
Individuals with Crohn’s disease have been found to be deficient in oligosaccharides in their digestive system.
Reducing Inflammation, Radiation Sickness, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Diabetes
In studies done on rodents, aloe vera has demonstrated the ability to markedly inhibit arthritis, edema, and inflammation. Aloe also stimulated the production of fibroblasts in rodents, indicating the healing of damaged tissue was occurring. The results specifically indicated a 50 percent reduction in inflammation. Mast cells, which are active in autoimmune and allergic responses, decreased by 48 percent.
Studies have demonstrated that aloe vera reduces radiation sickness in animals. Aloe helped them gain weight and recover faster with less nausea after being exposed to the radiation. Topical treatments using acemannan aloe extract reduced skin reactions in animals to radiation significantly.
A study done in Milan, Italy, on twenty-six patients with advanced solid tumors including cancers of the breast, digestive tract, brain, and lung were treated daily with twenty milligrams of the tryptamine neurotransmitter melatonin. Another twenty-four patients were treated with the twenty milligrams of melatonin along with one milliliter twice a day of an alcohol-based tincture of aloe vera. An improvement occurred in two of the twenty-four patients and fourteen of the patients stabilized and did not experience worse symptoms. Of the twenty-six patients treated with melatonin only, only seven stabilized.
In a five-year study done on five thousand patients with angina pain caused by coronary heart disease, subjects were given the option to consume aloe and a psyllium fiber containing polysaccharides. In those consuming the aloe and psyllium, total serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, and total lipids were markedly reduced and healthy HDL was increased. The patients who most benefited were diabetics.
The raw gel of fresh aloe vera has been shown to aid in the normalization of blood sugar, helping to lessen the symptoms of diabetes. Recent studies have shown that levels of the important anti oxidants vitamins C and E remained elevated for twenty-four hours after taking the fresh gel internally, providing a gentle, time-release effect of these vitamins in the body. Consumption of the fresh gel has also been shown to stimulate the body’s own antioxidant defenses and increase the bioavailability of naturally occurring antioxidants found in foods and whole-food supplements.
Ormus, Polysaccharides, and the Immune System
The polysaccharides found in raw, fresh aloe vera are one part of a larger family of essential glyconutrients, long-chain sugars that the body needs in order to maintain a strong immune system and achieve radiant health.
Specifically, aloe vera contains mannose polysaccharides strung together. These mannose clusters are known by different names, including acemannan, acetylated polymannans, polymannose, and APM. Mannose is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic. Mannose reduces inflammation.
Polysaccharides such as those found in raw, fresh aloe vera may also be found in practically every superfood and superherb, yet aloe, noni, and the medicinal mushrooms (reishi, chaga, maitake, shiitake, cordyceps, etc.) lead them all in overall healing polysaccharide content.
Aloe has a high affinity to concentrate Ormus minerals, a type of strange matter or “high energy particles” known to the ancients, but lost in time until rediscovered in the 1970s by alchemist David Radius Hudson in his research on Arizona basalt rock. David Hudson’s research indicated that aloe vera concentrates Ormus minerals in the polysaccharide fraction of the aloe’s gel.
Polysaccharides carry the Ormus minerals that have an affinity for the surface of our joints, for our nervous and immune systems, our skin and hair, as well as our pancreas and liver. These healing long-chain sugars carrying Ormus have been identified with aloe vera’s historical use as an aid to immunity, the digestive system, and the skin. These polysaccharides containing Ormus act as a unifying biological force, modulating the energies of all the biologically active compounds and living cells they contact, leading to accelerated healing and a deep, optimal homeostatic balance.
I have grown aloe vera to perfection in my office by using dilute amounts of pure Dead Sea salt and Dead Sea salt extracts. Dead Sea salt contains the highest concentration of Ormus minerals of any known substance. Using some Dead Sea salt occasionally in one’s aloe vera soil mix or diluted in the watering container allows the aloe vera to access more Ormus minerals. One leaf that I broke off a Dead-Sea-salt-grown aloe remained unchanged and “alive” in my kitchen for over three months while I was traveling.
Aloe’s polysaccharides contain hydrogen and Ormus concentrates that increase the hydration of epithelial cells. Hydrogen is what is needed to create “hydration.” In order to remain hydrated one must consume enough hydrogen. In indigenous desert environments where water is scarce, consuming aloe is a crucial part of survival.
The sulfur contained in aloe has been shown to be in forms similar to DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) and its important chemical relative MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane). These forms of sulfur are effective at hydrating dried-out, leathery tissue (collagen damage, wrinkles, hardening of the organs, etc.), thus restoring juiciness, elasticity, and flexibility. These sulfur forms are also known to help our immune system dissolve nanobacteria that cause hardening in dehydrated tissue. Nanobacteria are virus-sized, shell-forming organisms that cause arthritis, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, cataracts, kidney stones, gall stones, psoriasis, and more.
Aloe’s Ormus-carrying polysaccharides can stimulate collagen production, which retains moisture, resulting in younger-looking skin. Ormus compounds have been found to increase healing, decrease aging, and assist in the rejuvenation of our joints, skin, brain, nervous system, pancreas, liver, and hair.
Aloe vera is potent in activating the liver to produce more glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that is critical to the production of white blood cells. Typically, high amounts of glutathione in the body, along with a high dietary intake of vitamins B6, B9, and B12, will tend to lower dangerous homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine levels are a byproduct of an underlying nanobacteria infection and have been associated with nearly a hundred medical conditions.
Keeping the Kidneys Healthy
Aloe vera is a tonic adaptogen—adaptogens keep our vital organs healthy. They help balance blood sugar and enhance the liver, digestive system, and skin.
Supplementing the diet with aloe, aloe extracts (500+ mg daily), and arabinogalactan (polysaccharide gum sugar) supplements (500+ mg daily) has been shown to help decrease the need for kidney dialysis, as mentioned in Emil Mondoa’s and Mindy Kitei’s book Sugars That Heal.
Topical Applications: Healing the Skin
Aloe has been used topically to treat the following:
· Arthritis—joint relief may be experienced by simple topical application
· Athlete’s foot
· Brown spots
· Insect bites
· Insect stings
· Jellyfish stings
· Poison ivy
· Poison oak
· Skin allergies
· Skin cancer
· Skin infections
· Staph infections
· Stretch marks
· Stinging nettle
· Varicose veins
In my experience, the key in treating the skin topically with aloe vera appears to be keeping the aloe gel on the area for several hours each day, as opposed to just rubbing the gel on or using a lotion.
In both animals and humans, aloe vera’s ability to heal and even prevent skin damage has been extensively researched and proven. Slabs of fresh aloe vera gel can be applied and left directly on sunburns, skin cancer, eczema, and psoriasis for several hours with positive effects.
Langerhans white blood cells coordinate the healing of damaged skin. In severe skin damage, the Langerhans cells may be suppressed. When applied topically, aloe vera also stimulates the production of Langerhans cells both locally and systemically.
What to Look For …
Aloe Vera Product Types
Aloe vera leaves are usually a foot or two in length and dull-green in color. They have a succulent texture and are rich with gel inside. Aloe gel can taste bitter or it can have hardly any taste at all.
When purchasing aloe vera look the following characteristics:
1. Purchase organic aloe vera.
2. Select fresh aloe vera leaves in preference to bottled aloe vera. Only fresh aloe vera maintains the strong antifungal components that aloe contains. Bottled aloe vera should at least be enzymatically “stabilized.” Typically, the healing polysaccharide we know as mannose in aloe vera is destroyed by processing.
3. Select aloe leaves that are thick with gel and free of white speckles. Generally, the aloe variety with no white speckles in the leaf is superior to the ones with them.
Below is a list of aloe vera products to look for on the Internet or in your health food store or supplement shop.
Whole aloe vera leaves: Fresh aloe vera gel is superior to all other forms of aloe. It is more potent; its antifungal enzymes are still intact, and it has better flavor.
Bottled aloe vera gel
Dried aloe vera powder: A great product to fight chronic bladder infections. Take 750–1,500 milligrams per day
Acemannan (mannose extract)
Aloe vera alcohol tinctures
Aloe vera lotions (some exceptional formulas also contain MSM)
How to Use Aloe Vera
The gel of raw, fresh aloe vera has a mild, slightly bitter flavor due to the presence of high concentrations of polysaccharides.
Aloe vera is best when filleted. Cut the portion you desire to eat from the aloe leaf, remove the thorns on either side, and separate the gel from the skin with your knife.
Once the gel is removed from the inner leaf, it may be combined with other foods in smoothies, elixirs, salads, or other food preparations. Aloe vera combines well with high-antioxidant foods and superfoods like bee pollen, goji berries, fresh noni, and raw chocolate in all types of recipes, and it has a synergistic effect with whole-food, antioxidant-rich, green superfood formulas such as Pure Synergy®. Try mixing tiny cubes of raw aloe vera gel into a salsa, or blend up pieces of the raw gel into soups, spreads, and dips (yes, the gel can be cubed). Add the benefits of this traditional healing food to any raw dish you can imagine!
Once the gel has been removed and filleted from the outer leaf, the thin gel remaining on the inner surface of the leaf may be applied to the skin as a moisturizing lotion, suntan lotion, or as a soothing relief from minor burns.
Aloe vera leaves keep best when left in a bowl in indirect light at room temperature (not in the refrigerator).
Warning: Due to its strong effects in cleansing the liver, pregnant women and young children should not take aloe vera internally.
Aloe vera has tremendous topical applications for burns and chronic skin challenges. The key to using aloe vera effectively is exposing the gel by removing the skin and then placing the gel on the affected area for several hours without removing it. Simply rubbing aloe briefly on an area will not be effective.
Athlete’s Foot and Foot Fungus
Most forms of foot fungus can be overcome by removing the aloe skin and blending the fresh inner gel with spring water into a slurry, then pouring the slurry into a bucket and soaking one’s feet in the bucket for several hours a day for six weeks.
If you have fungus under the nails of your hands or feet, this aloe gel soaking should be done daily along with a topical application (when the affected area is clean and dry) of neem alcohol extract, pau d’arco alcohol extract, and 70 percent DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) sprayed on top of that. The area should be left to dry for fifteen to twenty minutes before socks or clothing touch the area. DMSO is a chemical solvent and should not be used haphazardly. Be sure to read Dr. Morton Walker’s book DMSO: Nature’s Healer before using DMSO.
Growing Aloe Vera
My experience growing aloe vera is fairly extensive. I have grown aloe in poor soil, clay-like soil, potting soil, 50 percent beach sand, desert sand, and in rich tropical soil. Aloe seems to prefer beach sand mixed 50-50 with some potting soil and enough alkaline minerals (such as calcium) to keep the soil somewhat alkaline. I have consistently found the best results with this combination. Aloe likes to be in well-drained soil and get reasonable soaks of water every now and again. I always let my aloes’ soils almost dry out in between watering or rain. It is much easier to over water than underwater this special plant.
If you live in a tropical or subtropical zone, grow your aloe outdoors in indirect sunlight. Plant them in places that require little care or maintenance. Aloes grow themselves and require little attention. In colder climates, keep your potted aloes near the window during the cold months and outside in indirect sunlight during the warmer months.
Harvesting leaves from your plant does not harm it as long as at least three strong leaves remain. Remove the leaves lowest to the ground first. Attempt to peel the leaf off the stalk. Most of the time you will be able to peel it off without damaging the leaf or the stalk at all. If you are unable to do this, simply use a knife and cut the aloe leaf near the stalk.
I have used Dead Sea salt and Dead Sea salt extracts as fertilizer for my aloe plants. I usually add a pinch of Dead Sea salt per gallon of water and water my aloe with this four to six times a year. Once a year, I pour the Dead Sea salt extract into a freshly dug hole next to my aloe patch. I cover this hole back up with fresh dirt after I pour the extract in.
Dead Sea salt extracts may be made by adding a 10 percent solution of sodium hydroxide by the drop to a one-gallon (4-liter) water-based solution containing 1–2 heaping tablespoons of Dead Sea salt. Add sodium hydroxide by the drop until the pH of the gallon hits 10–10.5 and then decant (keeping the precipitate intact) with distilled water to bring the pH back down. I have then used this precipitate and the distilled water, when the pH hits 7, as fertilizer for the aloe.
Aloe Vera Recipes
To Prepare (Fillet) Aloe Vera
Starting from the thickest part (base) to the thinnest (top), choose the amount of aloe you want to use. Cut off a chunk, cut the sharp edges off the sides, then fillet the skin off the top and bottom. Use the slimy, clear parts for your recipes. This is the precious aloe gel.
To a ¾ full (1½ liters) blender filled with spring water, add:
½ prepared aloe leaf (remove skin, keep the gel)
1 whole lemon, with the outer rind removed (keep the white pith)
1 whole lime, with the outer rind removed (keep the white pith)
5 pinches sea salt
3–5 droppersful of David Wolfe’s wild goji berry extract (or 3–5 pinches of goji berry powder)
2 tbsp. agave syrup
Blend and strain. Serve on ice.
Strawberry Orange Aloe Drink
Put prepared aloe gel in a blender.
Add fresh squeezed orange juice until the blender is ¾ full
Add 1 cup organic strawberries
Add ½ cup goji berries
Mix with water if desired. Blend, strain, and serve cold.
Hydrating Aloe Delight
Juice 1 cucumber in a juicer
Juice 1–2 apples in a juicer
Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lemon
2–3 pinches Himalayan salt
Blend all these ingredients with prepared aloe gel in a blender.
Add water and ice if desired.
Supergreen Power Aloe Smoothie
Add your favorite green powder (e.g., Sun Is Shining™)
freshly squeezed organic orange juice
2 organic kale leaves or favorite leafy green vegetable prepared aloe gel
Blend well in a high-speed blender. Add water if desired.
Twinkling Pink Aloe Cleanser
2–3 tbsp. flax oil
1 whole grapefruit (peeled)
inside gel from ½ an aloe vera leaf (not skin)
½ cup spring water (or just enough to blend)
2 tbsp. sweetener of choice (NoniLand™ honey, Manuka honey, agave syrup, or a few drops of stevia—sweeten to taste)
Blend all ingredients together in high-speed blender, pour into glass, chill if desired, and serve!
Chocolate–Vanilla Bean Dream Recipe
4 cups of your favorite liquid—we recommend water, hot or cold tea, fresh coconut water, or any nut milk
3 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 tbsp. maca or Maca Extreme if you dare!
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. raw cacao nibs
2 tbsp. coconut butter
1 tbsp. wild jungle peanuts
1–2 tbsp. sweetener (we suggest yacon syrup, amber or dark agave, and/or raw honey)
1 tbsp. hempseed
1 small pinch Celtic sea salt
½ tsp. ginger (optional)
½–1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
¼–½ leaf fresh aloe vera gel
½ fresh vanilla bean
3–5 capsules (1500 mg) reishi mycelium (reishi mushroom powder), open capsules and pour powder in (optional, for immune energy boost!)
1–3 cups organic frozen berries depending on how thick you like your smoothie
Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve. Serves 4.
Oh WOW Cacao—Superfood Greens Booster!
4 cups liquid (we recommend water, hot or cold tea, fresh coconut water, or any nut milk—hemp, almond, etc.)
3 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1 tbsp. raw maca, red maca, or Maca Extreme if you dare!
1 tbsp. raw cacao nibs
2 tbsp. coconut butter
1 tbsp. wild jungle peanut butter
2 tbsp. Sun Is Shining™ or Revitaphi™ superfood
1–2 tbsp. sweetener (we suggest yacon syrup, amber or dark agave, and/or raw honey (depending on how sweet you like your smoothies)
1 tbsp. hempseed
1 small pinch Celtic sea salt
¼–½ leaf fresh aloe vera gel
½ tbsp. spirulina
1–3 cups organic frozen fruit (depending on how thick you prefer your smoothie)
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Serves 2–4.